The eighth episode of the “Star Wars” saga, entitled “The Last Jedi,” will take audiences back to the Galaxy Far, Far Away at the end of the year. Of course, as any fan of the franchise knows, the main saga is grouped into trilogies with “Last Jedi” being the second of the third in production. “Episode Ix” is scheduled for release two years from now, in 2019. Despite that, Disney and Lucasfilms have already been busy making the necessary preparations for when production does begin. Even a bare-bones script has been written up, although that original draft may soon be changed or tossed out after the studio has brought in a new writer.

Compensating for late actress?

In order to undertake a rewrite of the script for “Star Wars: Episode IX” Lucasfilm is bringing in British playwright and screenwriter Jack Thorne. The original script has been conceptualized by the film’s director Colin Trevorrow and his associate Derek Connolly, based on general outlines laid down by Rian Johnson, who both wrote and directed “The Last Jedi.” Ultimately it was desired that the storyline be looked at by “fresh eyes.” No word has been given as to the extent of the rewriting needed.

There is speculation over the reasons for taking on a new writer for Episode IX. The general consensus appears to be more in line with routine script doctoring rather than a total overhaul.

Nevertheless, some have taken into consideration the fact that actress Carrie Fisher, who plays Princess (then General) Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and “VII: The Force Awakens,” has passed away. While she managed to complete her scenes in “Last Jedi” the question has been how to implement Fisher’s iconic character for Episode IX.

Proposals ranged from CGI doubles to the repurposing of cut footage, both used in the spinoff film “Rogue One.”

A Potter playwright

The new writer for “Star Wars: Episode IX,” Jack Thorne, has done writing for British TV shows “The Fades” and “The Last Panthers.” Much larger productions include the “Philip K. Dick’s ‘Electric Dreams’” anthology and the movie “Wonder” with Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts.

However, perhaps his most significant writing contribution to date would be his collaboration with J.K. Rowling for the stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Star Wars: Episode VIIIThe Last Jedi” stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher in her last film appearance. It will release on December 15. Episode IX, on the other hand, will start filming on January 2018, with a premiere date of May 24, 2019.